Luke 7 v 28. “I tell you, among those born of women there was no one greater than John. Yet the one who is lest in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.”
People flocked to hear John preach in the wilderness. They did not go because he was a reed shaken in the wind, nor did they go because he was dressed in fine clothes. No! Says Jesus, you went because he was the forerunner of the Messiah.
Many believed him then and many did not. But if they believed him they should believe in Jesus. However, some were saying he was demon-possessed, mad or immoral.
How many people get caught up in some religious experience or are momentarily challenged by the Christian message only to change their minds. Do you know people like that?
What is it that makes people change their minds about the Gospel? It was John’s preaching about sin and judgement. He warned them to flee from the wrath to come. The Pharisees and experts in the law totally rejected this message because they felt they were in no danger. But many of the “tax collectors”, Luke’s catch-all term for sinners, agreed with John (Luke 8 vs 29-30).
Just as they rejected John so they rejected Jesus. John was an ascetic, Jesus was not. Still the proud people found fault with both. When the heart is wrong, it is dreadfully wrong. Nobody can persuade it for it is controlled by pride, and no argument for the truth of the Gospel is acceptable.
Jesus tells them they are like children in the market place (vs 31-32), not satisfied with any game played. So these proud Pharisees were not satisfied with any version of the truth put before them.
The problem is that God is just too big and holy for most people. We all want a smaller God who will compromise with us and not make such sweeping demands on us. As long as they could keep fooling themselves that who they were and what they were doing was acceptable to God, they would reject Christ. But acceptability with God without believing in Jesus will never happen. We must let go of our self-righteousness to be admitted into the Kingdom.
For spiritual assurance, make sure you trust nothing in yourself but only in Christ and the blood He shed for us.